On the afternoon of April 14, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah will pay an official visit to China from April 17 to 21.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty will pay a working visit to China on April 19.
China-Malaysia relations have developed smoothly since the two countries established diplomatic ties 37 years ago. Since China and Malaysia established strategic partnership of cooperation in 2004, the two countries have enjoyed frequent high-level exchange of visits, ever-deepening political mutual trust as well as fruitful economic and trade cooperation. Malaysia has been China's biggest trading partner among ASEAN countries for 3 years in a row and China has been Malaysia's biggest trading partner for 2 consecutive years. Exchange and cooperation between the two countries keep advancing in fields including energy, finance, infrastructure construction, law enforcement security, education, culture and tourism. Both sides also maintain sound coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. China attaches great importance to its relations with Malaysia and stands ready to work along with Malaysia for further advancement of strategic partnership of cooperation.
Since China and Indonesia established strategic partnership in 2005, the two countries have enjoyed ever-deepening political mutual trust, remarkable achievements of cooperation across the board as well as sound communication and cooperation in major international and regional issues. The Chinese Government values China-Indonesia relations and stands ready to make joint efforts with Indonesia to promote our strategic partnership and make new contributions to regional peace and development.
Q: The Permanent Mission of Philippines to the United Nations has reportedly presented a note to the UN Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea, accusing China of violating the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the South China Sea issue. How does China respond?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, as well as sovereign rights and jurisdiction over relevant seabed and subsoil. China's sovereignty, rights and jurisdiction over the South China Sea are based on sufficient historical and legal grounds. As for the content of the note you mentioned, the Chinese Government finds it unacceptable.
Q: An official with US Department of Defence said at the congressional hearing that the US would go on fulfilling its legal obligations stipulated in the Taiwan Relations Act, providing Taiwan with self-defence facilities. He also said the US wanted to ensure that China's activities in Latin America are open, transparent and conducive to good governance, rule of law, human rights and regional security. What is China's comment?
A: China resolutely opposes US arms sales to Taiwan, and this position is consistent and clear-cut. We hope the US side stick to the three China-US Joint Communiqués, especially the August 17th Communiqué, stop arms sales to and military connections with Taiwan, deal with the Taiwan question prudently and properly and take concrete steps to promote peaceful development of cross-strait relations.
China and Latin American countries are all developing countries with broad common interests. Viewing China-Latin America relations from a strategic perspective, the Chinese Government is committed to establishing and developing comprehensive partnership of cooperation featuring equality, mutual benefit and common development with Latin American countries. This kind of partnership is of the following features: treating each other as equals and respecting each other's choice of development paths; tapping economic complementarities and vigorously advancing mutual investment and trade so as to benefit both peoples; exchanging with and learning from each other on the front of culture. The military-to-military exchange and cooperation between China and Latin America are completely transparent and not targeted to any third party.
Q: It is reported that Kiyoshi Sasamori, special envoy of Japanese Prime Minister and special advisor to the Cabinet has come to China recently and brought with him a letter from Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Would you please confirm and give us more details?
A: On April 11, State Councilor Dai Bingguo met with the visiting special advisor to Japanese Cabinet Kiyoshi Sasamori, who delivered Prime Minister Naoto Kan's letter addressed to President Hu Jintao to State Councilor Dai Bingguo. Prime Minister Naoto Kan expressed in the letter his sincere gratitude to the Chinese Government and people for their support and assistance since the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck Japan. He also showed willingness of deepening China-Japan strategic relationship of mutual benefit.
China attaches great importance to China-Japan relations and stands ready to advance the strategic relationship of mutual benefit together with Japan. It is our wholehearted wish that the Japanese people in the quake-stricken areas would tide over difficulties and rebuild their homeland.
Q: First, what is China's position on the AU's appeal to the UNSC for a no-fly zone in the Gaza strip to protect local civilians? Second, during his meeting with the South African President Zuma yesterday, President Hu Jintao expressed China's willingness to maintain communication and coordination with South Africa for early restoration of peace and stability in Libya. Would you please brief us on the specific measures that China will adopt to that end? Will it be sending peace-keeping troops to Libya or exerting more pressure on Gaddafi regime?
A: On your first question, China expresses deep concern over the escalation of tension in Gaza. We stand for dialogue between Palestine and Israel and oppose confrontation, especially violence against innocent civilians. We hope that relevant parties honor their recent commitment to ceasefire with concrete measures, push for early restoration of tranquility and create conditions for resumption of peace talk at an early date.
On your second question, China is concerned about the humanitarian crisis caused by continuous turmoils in Libya. China calls on all the relevant parties to pursue an early ceasefire so as to avoid deterioration of the situation and a bigger humanitarian disaster. China supports the political efforts by relevant parties including the AU to ease the tension in Libya and is willing to stay in communication and coordination with all parties in this regard for an early restoration of stability in Libya.
Q: Deputy Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Baqeri was quoted as saying that Iran is preparing for resumption of negotiation with the six countries. What is China' s comment?A: We have noted relevant report. China always believes that the Iranian nuclear issue should be properly addressed through dialogue and negotiation. We hope to see the six countries start a new round of talks with Iran at an early date and enhance mutual trust through practical means. We will keep in touch with relevant parties.
Q: It is learnt that after President Hu Jintao's talks with Indian Prime Minister Singh yesterday, China and India decided to restart their military-to-military exchange which was halted last July because of China's refusal to grant visas to military officials from the India-administered Kashmir. Does the restart of exchange indicate that China has changed its policy of granting stapled visas to residents from India-administered Kashmir?
A: India is an important neighbour of China. China is committed to developing military-to-military relations with the country and always values our bilateral military exchange. Bearing in mind the larger picture of bilateral relations and keeping in line with the principles of friendly negotiation and seeking common ground while reserving differences, China and India will push foward a sound and stable development of military-to military relationship.
As for your second question, I already made my point clear at the previous press conference. China and India are able to properly handle the issues related to personnel exchange between our two countries through friendly consultation.
Q: It is reported that China is considering providing Spain with a package of assistance to tackle its sovereign debt crisis. Would you please confirm and give us more details?
A: Spanish Prime Minister Zapatero has arrived in China to attend the BFA Annual Conference 2011. Premier Wen Jiabao met with him in Beijing. Premier Wen pointed out that the EU, as the largest bloc of developed countries, enjoys solid economic basis, advanced technology and management experience as well as high-quality human resources and is able to overcome the sovereign debt crisis facing some member countries. The Chinese Government reiterates its willingness to continue to buy Spain's government debts and play a part in supporting the Spanish Savings Bank restructuring fund. As a responsible and long-term investor in the European financial market, China supports the bail-out measures adopted by the EU and International Monetary Fund and believes that Europe will surely realize economic and social stability and development.
Q: How does China comment on the international contact group meeting on Libya held in Doha yesterday?
A: China always holds that the future of Libya should be determined by the Libyan people independently and efforts of relevant parties should be conducive to easing current tensions in Libya. We believe that the international community should continue to be committed to resolving the crisis through political means.